Newb here, Whats the best program/format for the WDTV live?

hey everyone, i just found and ordered the WDTV live and was wondering what everyone thinks makes the best and/or  easiest dvd backups for the drive? From what ive gathered in researching it seems people mainly like MKVs.  Ive been using DVDFAB right now but it seems to take an awful long time. It took about 40 min for an AVI and Im currently looking at a 2hr transfer to MKV (its still going). Can I get by using AVI with the WDTV? Does anyone know a better (faster) program than DVDFAB? Thanks in advance for the help


I use DvDfab to rip and handbrake to encode. With handbrake I just use the Reguler/high profile preset and switch the container to mkv file.

excuse my confusion… what file type do you use fab to rip into before you use handbrake to convert to mkv?

I just rip to Video/Audio TS folders

ohhhh ok, i tried that before using clonedvd and didnt have handbrake so didnt know what the next step would be… thanks ill try now

Gimp1124, You can use DVDfab to rip directly into the VIDEO_TS folder (VOB files). There is no need to convert or re-encode. The WD box will play the movie directly from the VIDEO_TS folder with full DVD navigation. If you want you can use ImgBurn (a free program) to convert the ripped files to an ISO and the WD box will play that too.

It only takes 9-14 minutes to rip the DVD (and the WD will play those files), and it only takes about 3 minutes to put them into an ISO if you prefer that format. Personally, I just leave the files in the VIDEO_TS folder and play them from there because that is that fastest and easiest thing to do.

P.S. Unless you read the manual, it is not obvious how to play the VOB files. After navigating to the VIDEO_TS folder, press the Play button on the first file, wait for the movie to start playing, press the Option button on the WD remote, then select Menu. Press the Option button again to get rid of the options menu, then you will have full DVD navigation just like a DVD player.

Thanks, ya i used Clonedvd for the movie ive been trying all the diff examples out on and it made the video ts in 5 min. I didnt know i could play the video ts files, it does seem kinda like the external will be all confusing with so many video ts folders… can i just make the VOBs and rename the TS folder? this way i can search by movie name etc? Like you said i dont have the manual yet, i only ordered it last night so i wont see it till like thurs/fri so hopefully it will be cleared up then. I was just trying to get a head start on my converting =)

also if i make an iso will it just be a single file? that might make it easier organizing wise

yeah you can do that but the file size will be huge, most of my movies come out to about 1.2GB at full res with AC3 5.1 ripping to just to ISO will get you files sizes 2 to 4x greater in size.

sure is take extra time, but the file size is much smaller.  if you are not going to re encode just rip to iso. 

ok thanks, i just installed imgburn but ill wait till i have the unit and see how it functions with the video_ts files first, im all about saving space and loading up on movies =)    one last thing, can i just rename the vTS folder so its easier to manage?

video ts folder- 3.7g

iso direct from dvd- 3.7g

mkv- 778,000 mgb

avi- 1.06 g

maybe i did something wrong

To answer some of your other questions…No, you cannot re-name the VIDEO_TS folder. If you do, you will not have full DVD navigation. That is how the WD box works. Yes, if you make an ISO, it will be one file, but it will be about the same size as the VIDEO_TS folder. However, it will make it easier to store/keep track if you have a lot of movies. Both the VIDEO_TS folder and the ISO method store the DVD in full quality, just like the original, but the size will be the same as the original DVD (of course you could just rip the movie without all the extras to save space).

When you make the movies into a different format, you usually get to pick the bitrate that you want. Higher bitrates means better quality, while lower bitrates take up less room on your hard drive at the expense of video quality. 

hey thanks for all the info. My WDTV is set to arrive thurs or fri and i cant wait.  As far as size it seems mp4 might be my best bet for transfer speed. does anyone have any objections to this----? Will this option work?


the quality seems good and as far as speed it went relatively fast.

That should work, but some folks have issues with some .mp4 files (although not as much as there used to be).

When issues have come up, re-muxing the .mp4 into an .mkv container has usually been sufficient for proper playback.

You might just want to save a possible step/headache and just use the same Handbrake settings, but change the output to .mkv.

so youre saying just go from iso to mkv instead of mp4? Ill give it a shot. iso into anything seems faster than just disc to whatever…  For now ive been going thru my discs and just isoing em and ill hopefully batch convert a bunch at a time to mkv while i sleep or something like that…thanks

Yes, exactly.

Most folks posting their ripping habits seem to create either .iso or VIDEO_TS, to remove the protections, and then run that through Handbrake (generally with the “High Profile” preset) but changing the output of Handbrake from .mp4 to .mkv.